More trouble in the closed beta

Valorant fps drops and hitboxes

Valorant fps drops hit boxes

Image credit: Riot Games

Valorant received a big patch almost a week ago and with it came a whole lot of new bugs. Some of them cause major fps drops which ruins the experience for many.

Patch 0.49 for Valorant brought some balance changes for agents like Raze, Sage, and others. Additionally, it also included bug fixes and quality of life updates. What we didn’t know immediately was that new bugs were also part of the latest update.

FPS drops

Among the most discussed ones are fps drops caused by various in-game elements. A whole thread on Reddit is dedicated to the bug, and according to it, shooting, bullet holes, and agent abilities like Sage’s wall are the main cause. Riot developer Koalifier joined in on the topic and commented:

We're aware of reports that FPS is worse this patch, and we're actively investigating. Please keep reporting when this happens! We're committed to improving performance in the game.

When we talk about performance, we usually focus on frametime, not FPS. FPS = Frames per second. Frametime = amount of time it takes to process one frame. We like to use frametime because it provides more consistent relative swings in performance. For example, a dip from 420FPS to 300FPS sounds dramatic, but in terms of frametime, you're going from 2.38ms -> 3.33ms (a one millisecond increase). Respectively, Going from 300FPS -> 140FPS is a 3.8ms frametime increase. We care a lot about maintaining smooth performance, so we don't want to see a lot of swings here, but 1-3ms deviations when activity is happening aren't completely unacceptable or unexpected.

The client FPS graph is not showing you a per-frame number, but shows you a rolling average that is calculated every frame. This is mainly to make the graph more easily readable during gameplay. This means that the reason your FPS dips while the abilities are on the screen, and then recovers after they leave, is really just a coincidence of timing. Firing your weapon & using abilities is causing a momentary dip, but it's smoothed out in the graph so you see this slow recovery.

You're correct that bullet holes have a performance impact, but not in the way that you might think! We have a performance optimization in the next patch that should reduce the cost of shooting through surfaces substantially (.4->2.4ms reduction or so).

EDIT: Seeing in the comments some mentions that Split is the worst offender on performance. We're aware and actively investigating it!

While the Riot team is still investigating the issue, it’s all still live. Other things which lower fps are the minimap and the ping system, both of which put a strain on the game’s flow. Reportedly, Split is the map that is the most affected, and players experience the biggest fps drops there.


In case you’ve felt that people die too often with headshots in Valorant, you’ve had the right idea. Sure people might be coming from CS:GO where aiming for the head is important, but right from the start there was something weird. A lot of players commented that hitboxes in Riot’s shooter are way too generous. Another thread discussed the topic and showed just how off the mark you can shoot while still getting a headshot. It remains to be seen whether it’s a bug that came with the latest patch or an intentional choice by Riot. If the company’s idea is to truly turn Valorant into a competitive shooter, fixing the hitboxes to actually reflect the different body parts will be a must.

Stay tuned for more Valorant news.

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